Quick Hits: Villanueva, Looper, Red Sox, Wilson

As the Giants raise their World Series banner with an assist from the Say Hey Kid, here's some news from around the majors…

  • The Brewers received cash, rather than a player to be named later, from the Blue Jays to complete the Carlos Villanueva trade, reports the team (and passed on by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy).
  • The Cubs aren't considering trying to lure Braden Looper out of retirement, reports ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.  Looper retired when he didn't make Chicago's Opening Day roster.  With right-handers Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the disabled list, the Cubs have a sudden lack of pitching depth, but the team will turn to internal options like Casey Coleman, who will start on Sunday. 
  • The Red Sox got their first win of the season today, but there's still plenty of talk about Boston's slow start.  SI's Tom Verducci thinks there are legitimate reasons for worry, namely that Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka "have to suddenly reverse the downward trends of their careers in their 30s."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com also questions Boston's pitching, pointing out that barring rebound years from Beckett, Lackey and Matsuzaka, "they’re essentially the same team as the Yankees — terrific offense, deep bullpen, weak back of the rotation."  Rosenthal, however, thinks it is far too early in the season for the Sox and their fans to panic.
  • Jack Wilson asked to be taken out of the Mariners' 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday, Seattle manager Eric Wedge told reporters today.  Wilson implied that Wedge had removed him from the game, which upset Wedge, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  The Twitter feed of the Brock & Salk radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle reports that Wedge described Wilson's actions as "unspeakable" and wouldn't discuss the veteran infielder's status with the club.
  • Pirates right-hander Tyler Yates has a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.  Yates hasn't pitched since 2009 due to Tommy John surgery, and Langosch reports that this latest injury might convince Yates to retire, a decision he's already considered earlier in his career.
  • The Diamondbacks are looking at Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Danny Hultzen with the third pick in this June's amateur draft, says Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  Sources on other teams think this trio will be the first three players taken in the draft, though perhaps not in that order.  Arizona also has the seventh overall pick, and Piecoro notes that the D-Backs' priority with that pick is to draft a player they can sign.  Vanderbilt's Sonny Grey and high schoolers Dylan Bundy and Taylor Guerrieri are some of the players Piecoro hears connected with this pick.   
  • Doug Davis held another workout today, tweets Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  Five or six teams were present, down from the eight clubs that watched Davis throw two weeks ago. 

21 Responses to Quick Hits: Villanueva, Looper, Red Sox, Wilson Leave a Reply

  1. Are the Red Sox simply missing John Farrell / is this a coaching issue? I don’t know much about Curt Young. Seems like Lackey isn’t even ready for the season, his stuff today was beyond lousy.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      These are grown men, professional athletes that get paid millions of dollars. . . They shouldn’t rely on another person to get them ready for the season

      • Yeah no kidding. Wasn’t so much implying that it was a matter of being out of shape or something, he came in 30ish pounds lighter and that was his own preparation. Players, even veterans like Lackey and Beckett count on coaches to point out things they’re doing wrong, etc. Not a matter of reliance but pitching coaches exist for a reason… I’m not even saying I’m convinced Young has anything to do with his poor start, just asking if anyone’s heard anything on that front.

  2. sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

    Guess Jack is having a temporary memory lapse on what a great life he has getting to play the game of baseball on a full time basis.

  3. Ian_Smell 4 years ago

    You’re always welcome back in Pittsburgh if Seattle doesn’t pan out, Jack. Just as long as you’re not being paid too much.

    • grownice 4 years ago

      I heard your making a comeback bro! Congrats! Best of luck to ya!

  4. MaineSox 4 years ago

    “have to suddenly reverse the downward trends of their careers in their 30s.” What “trends” is this guy talking about? Both Beckett and Lackey were essentially the same pitcher in ’09 that they were in ’07, so that leaves ’10. Beckett was bad (and injured) in ’10 and Lackey, after a horrible start, was as good or better in ’10 than he was in ’07-’09. Even if we assume they were both horrible all year last year it’s still only one year, so it’s way to early to claim that it is any sort of downward trend.

    Dice-K, well he is what he is, but he pitched basically as well last year as he did in ’08, he just had a much different outcome, so there’s no “downward trend” there either.

    • guest_54 4 years ago

      While slight (perhaps insubstantial), Lackey’s numbers have shown a bit of downward trend over the past 3 years.

      2007 – 150
      2008 – 119
      2009 – 115
      2010 – 99

      2007 – 1.210
      2008 – 1.231
      2009 – 1.270
      2010 – 1.419

      2007 – 8.8
      2008 – 8.9
      2009 – 9.0
      2010 – 9.8

      2007 – 2.1
      2008 – 2.2
      2009 – 2.4
      2010 – 3.0

      2007 – 7.2
      2008 – 7.2
      2009 – 7.1
      2010 – 6.5

      2007 – 3.44
      2008 – 3.25
      2009 – 2.96
      2010 – 2.17

      As I mentioned, these are only slight regressions, but it definitely gives some merit to the claim that he is showing signs of a downward trend. Do I think the Red Sox should be concerned? Not really, but to totally rip into the writer for suggesting that his numbers are trending in the wrong direction is not completely fair as there is at least some evidence to suggest that conclusion.

      • grownice 4 years ago

        Well played Mauer, i mean guest_54.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        I don’t think I ripped into the writer, and I certainly didn’t intend to. I merely suggested that it is too early to call it a trend. I look at the numbers you posted and still see Lackey as essentially the same player from ’07-’09, esspecially when you add in his xFIPs of 3.87, 3.82 and 3.87 again, so that still leaves ’10 as the outlier and one year shouldn’t be considered a trend. All of that is also ignoring the face that his numbers were all inflated from a terrible start last year, and from June onward he actually pitched better than he had in ’07.

        • guest_54 4 years ago

          Fair enough. I re-read what you wrote and perhaps it seemed a little harsher to me the first time. I actually agree that Lackey’s numbers are pretty close. My point was that a cursory glance at some of his stats could lead people to argue that he has started a downward trend.

    • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

      Any true Honest Sox fan would have to be worried by what they see with their own eyes. Beckett should be fine as a solid no.3 without anymore ace expectations but Lackey and Dice K look horrible. Talk about a waste of money.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        “Any true honest Sox fan” would know that from ’07 to ’09 Beckett was the fifth most valuable starter in all of baseball, had the second lowest xFIP of all starters in that time, as well as third best K/BB. Now he has one bad year (in which he was injured for a major part of the year) and you are ready to proclaim him a “solid no.3?” And by most accounts Lackey had a “bad” year last year and still justified his pay. Note also that Lackey’s bad year was “bad” to the tune of 4.0 WAR, which is only 0.3 WAR less than David Price.

        • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

          Theres the difference between a fan and a homer!

  5. Notin J. Notin 4 years ago

    The Cuba lack pitching depth? The Sox are saddled with John Lackey? A coincidence these two points were put together back-to-back in the same article?

    Sadly for Sox fans – it very likely is a coincidence…

  6. sweetcaroline2011 4 years ago

    Boston will be fine……They called up doubront and Aceves. Doubront can be a decent 4 starter. Aceves can be a decent 5 starter. By the way Denny Reyes was designated for assignment. Besides we only need 5 or 6 inninings out of starting pitching. Jenks in 7th. Bard in 8th. Papelbon in 9th. We are fine. Everyone forgets that we started 4-9 last year.

    • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

      I agree that Boston will be fine in the end but what you see out of this rotation is what you’re gonna get. Beckett and Lackey are here for 4 more years at big money so only Dicek has a chance of being moved and he makes 20 mil for 11-12! Looking back, the Sox would have been much better if they had signed Holliday instead of Lackey and Lee instead of Crawford(His game is too similar to Ellsburys to have in the same lineup, a run producer makes more sense in this lineup)! It’s still early, so hopefully I’m proven wrong!

  7. mwmartin04 4 years ago

    It’s a crazy world we live in when Beckett’s 17-6 mark with a sub-4 ERA in 2009 is considered a downward trend. The guy was hurt all of 2010. It’s too bad hacks like Verducci, Cafardo, and all the sports radio guys have their opinions taken as gospel and don’t allow facts to get in the way of their arguments.

    Also, as Verducci likes to trump his “Verducci Effect” he never mentions when it fails miserably. I believe he predicted a drop in Lester’s performance after 2008 and all he’s done is get better every year.

  8. I see how it will play out. Jack Wilson will run himself out of Seattle (Pre planned, he gets an extra 200k), allowing Adam kennedy to step to the reins, who will collect another DUI(also pre planned, gets a choice of a week in jail, to a month but a contract to join the minor league club) and the mariners are forced to call up Dustin Ackley to play 2nd..I got you Mr. Wedge figured out! You got all kinds of schemes running in your head. I am just curious to see how the party boat accident with Ichiro will play out…

  9. Noreaster44 4 years ago

    Actually, the Sox are not the same as the Yankees. Their bullpen is not even close to NYs, their offense is Lefty dominated and not as deep and their defense is meh, at best.

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